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Washington This Week

News/Business. The week's events from Capitol Hill, the White House and around the country.

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Us 55, America 34, Washington 26, Dr. King 19, Syria 14, United States 13, Mississippi 8, Damascus 6, U.n. 6, Naacp 5, Obama 4, Nancy Pelosi 4, Shannon 4, Assad 4, United Nations 4, California 4, Detroit 4, New York 4, Wisconsin 4, Mitch Mcconnell 3,
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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business. The week's events from Capitol  
   Hill, the White House and around the country.  

    August 31, 2013
    3:00 - 6:31pm EDT  

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registration fraud. smaller marches, far from the spotlight. through the loss of four little girls in birmingham, and the agony of dallas and california and memphis. through setbacks and heartbreaks, that flame of justice flickered. it never died. because they kept marching, america changed. because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. because they marched, the voting rights law was assigned. because they marched, doors of
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opportunity in education swung open so their daughters and sons could imagine a life for themselves beyond washing someone else's laundry or shining someone else's shoes. because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and congress changed. eventually the white house changed. [cheers and applause] because they marched, america became more free and more fair. not just for african-americans, but for women and latinos. asians and native americans. catholics, jews, and muslims. for gays, for americans with
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disabilities. america changed for you and for me. the entire world drew strength from that example, whether it be young people who watched from the other side of an iron curtain and would eventually tear down that wall, or the young people inside south africa would eventually end the scourge of apartheid. [cheers and applause] those are the victories they won. with iron wills, and hope in their hearts, that is a transformation that they brought with each step of their well- worn shoes. that is the depth that i and millions of americans owe those maids, porters, secretaries. those white students who put themselves in harms way, even though they didn't have to.
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those japanese-americans who recalled their own internment, those jewish americans who survived the holocaust. people who could have given up and given them, but kept on keeping on knowing that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. [cheers and applause] on the battlefield of justice, men and women without rank or wealth or title or fame would liberate us all in ways that our children now take for granted. people of all colors and creeds live and learn and walk together, and fight alongside
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one another and love one another. and judge one another by the content of our character in this greatest nation on earth. to dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest as some sometimes do the little has changed -- that little has changed, that dishonors the courage and sacrifice sacrifice of those who paid the price to march. [cheers and applause] james chaney, andrew goodman, martin luther king, jr. -- they did not die in vain. their victory was great. but we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete.
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the ark of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it does not bend on its own. to secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency. whether it is by challenging those who erect new barriers to the vote, or ensure that the scales of justice work equally for all in the criminal justice system -- it requires vigilance. [cheers and applause]
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we will suffer the occasional setback, but we will win these fights. this country has changed too much. [cheers and applause] people of goodwill, regardless regardless of party, are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history's currents. in some ways, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination -- the very significance of these victories may have obscured the second goal of the march. for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not
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there in search of some abstract idea. they were there seeking jobs as well as justice. not just the absence of oppression, but the presence of economic opportunity. [cheers and applause] for what does it profit a man, dr. king would ask, to sit at a counter if you can't afford the meal? this idea that one's liberty is linked to one's livelihood, that the pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work, the skills to find work, decent
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pay, some measure of material security, this idea was not new. lincoln himself understood the declaration of independence in such terms that is a promise in due time, the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. and dr. king explained that the goals of african-americans were identical to working people of all races. decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children, respect in the community. what king was describing has been the dream of every american. it has what has lured for centuries new arrivals to our shores. the second dimension of economic opportunity, the chance to honest toil to advance one's station in life.
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the goals of 50 years ago have fallen short. there have been examples of success that would have been unimaginable in black america century ago. this has been noted, as unemployment remains almost twice that of white unemployment. the gap in wealth between races has not lessened. it has grown. as president clinton indicated, the position of all working americans, regardless of color, has eroded, making the dream dr. king described even more elusive. over a decade, working americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnant, as corporate profits soar and as the pay of a fortunate few explodes. upward mobility has become harder. in too many communities across this country, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth, their lives a fortress of
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substandard schools, inadequate health care, perennial violence. as we mark this anniversary, we must remind ourselves that the measure of progress for those who marched 50 years ago was not join the ranks of millionaires, it was whether this country would allow all people who are willing to work hard into the ranks of a middle-class life. [cheers and applause] the test was not and never has been whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few. it is whether our economic system provides a fair shot for many, for the black custodian and white steelworker. the immigrant dishwasher, and the native american veteran.
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to win that battle, to answer that call. this remains our great unfinished business. we should not fool ourselves. the task will not be easy. since 1963, the economy has changed. the twin forces of technology and global competition has subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class, reduce the bargaining power of american workers. our politics has suffered. entrenched interests, those who benefit from an unjust status
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quo, resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal. an army of lobbyists argued that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford just to fund public schools but all these things violated sound economic principles -- that all the things violated sound economic principles. we have been told that growing inequality was a price for a growing economy. the measure of a free market. that greed was good, and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to
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blame. then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing the best to convince middle-class americans of a great untruth, that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity. that distant eurocrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit -- bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit others. there were times when some of us claiming to push for change lost our way. the anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating rights -- riots. legitimate grievances against police brutality ended in excuse
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making for criminal behavior. racial politics could cut both ways. as a transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by discrimination. what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all americans to work hard and get ahead, was too often framed as a mere desire for government support. as if we had no agency in our own liberation. the poverty was an excuse for not raising your child. all of that history is how progress stalled. that is how hope was diverted. it is how our country remained divided. the good news is, just as was true in 1963, we now have a choice. we can continue down our current path, in which the gears of this great democracy grind to a halt and our children except a life of lower expectations, where politics is a zero-sum game, where if you do very well while struggling families of every race fight over shrugging economic pie.
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or we can have the courage to change. the march on washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history. we are masters of our fate. it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together. we will have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow
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feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago. i believe that spirit is there. that force inside each of us. i see it when a mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child. i see it when the black youth think of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man. it is there when the nativeborn recognizes that striving spirit, when interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple and experiences it as their own. that is were courage comes from. when we turn not from each other, or on each other, but towards one another and we find that we do not walk alone. that is were courage comes from. -- where courage comes from. [cheers and applause] with that courage, we can stand
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together for good jobs and just wages. we can stand together for the right to health care in the richest nation on earth for every person. with that courage, we can stand together for the right of every child from the corners of anacostia to the hills of appalachia to get an education that serves the mind and catches the spirit and prepares them for the world that awaits them. [cheers and applause] with that courage, we can feed the hard-working and house the homeless and transform bleak wastelands of poverty into
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fields of commerce and promise. america, i know the road will be long, but i know we can get there. we will stumble, but i know we will get back up. that is how a movement happens. that is how history bands. -- bends. that is when someone says, come on. there is a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young. the young are unconstrained by fear. unconstrained by the conventions of what is. they dare to dream differently, to imagine something better. i'm convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of
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purpose serves in this generation. we might not face the same dangers as 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains. we may never duplicate the swelling crowds, the dazzling procession. no one can match king's brilliance. but the same claim that lifted the heart of all who are willing to take that step for justice, i know that claim remains. the tireless teacher who gets to class early and stays late and dips into her own pocket to buy supplies because she believes that every child is her charge, she is marching. [cheers and applause] that successful businessman who doesn't have to, but pays his workers a fair wage and then offers a shot to a man, maybe an ex-con, who is down on his luck, he is marching. [cheers and applause] the mother who pours her love into her daughter so she grows up with the confidence to walk through the same doors as anybody's son, she's marching. [cheers and applause] the father who realizes the most important job he will ever have is raising his buoyant right,
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even he did not have a father, especially if you did not have a father at home, -- boy right, even if he did not have a father, especially if you did not have a father at home, he is marching. [cheers and applause] to keep serving their country when they come home, they are marching. [cheers and applause] everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day, the change does not come from washington am a but to washington -- washington, but to washington. we, the people, who take on the mantle of citizenship, you are marching. [cheers and applause]
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that is the lesson of our past. that is the promise of tomorrow. in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. when millions of americans of every race, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, those mountains will be made low and those rough places will be made plain and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace. we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrifice so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. ♪cheers and applause]
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♪ qwhwho canfore me, be against me?
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♪ america, america where people dare to d ream for americaht america the free rising from the ashes of america ♪ america
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america america from sea to shining sea america for you and me red, white and blue america america lady liberty oh, we thank america america
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america believe, i believe
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america land of the free america ♪ ♪
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you can watch more of this tonight. you will hear from john lewis and former naacp chair julian bond as well as others. that is at 9:20 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. quacks there are several types of bullying. their favorite is race stroll -- racial bullying. they love it. it is based almost solely and completely on the idea that they stand up for the demise groups. everything they do is on behalf of some victimized minority, blacks, jews, gays, women. we hate blacks, gays, and women. philosophy they tried out. we will take your calls
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and comments for three hours starting at noon eastern. and the book club returns in september with this town, to parties and a funeral plus 20 of la parking in the capital. read the book and engage. quacks shortly before 2:00, president obama came to the rose garden of companies by vice president joe biden. we will show these to you now. >> good afternoon.
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10 days ago the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in syria in the worst chemical attack in the 21st century. thatrday they presented the syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. it shows them preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. all of this corporate's what the world can plainly see. hospitals overflowing with victims. terrible images of the dead. all told, well over 1000 people were murdered. several hundred of them were children. young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government.
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this attack is an assault on human community. it also presents a serious danger to our national security. it risks making a mockery of the global role vision on the use of chemical weapons. it endangers our friends and our partners along syria's border including israel, turkey, lebanon, and iraq. it leads to an escalating use of chemical weapons or the proliferation for terrorist groups who would do our people harm. a world with many damage, this menace must be confronted. after careful deliberation, i have decided that the unit states should take military action against syrian regime targets. this will not be an open-ended intervention. we would not put boots on the ground. and said, our action will be
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designed to be limited in duration and scope. but i'm confident we can hold the assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out. our military has assets in the region, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission
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is not time sensitive. it will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now. i am prepared to give that order. but having made my decision as commander in chief based on what i am convinced is our national security interests, i am also mindful that i'm the president of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. i have longed believe that power is not rooted in our military right but in our example of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. that is why i have made a second decision -- i will seek authorization for the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. for the last several days, we have heard from members of the congress who want their voices to be heard. i absolutely agree. so this morning, i spoke with all congressional leaders, and they agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as congress comes back into session. in the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with of the information they need to understand what happened in
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syria and why it has such profound implications for america's national security. and all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote. i'm confident in the case our government has made without waiting for u.n. inspectors. i am comfortable going forward without the approval of a united nations security council that has so far been completely unverified and unwilling to hold assad accountable. as a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to congress. undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the united kingdom this week when the parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even if the prime minister supported taking action. yet, while i believe i have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, i know that the country will be stronger if we take this course
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and our actions will be even more effective. we should have this debate. the issues are too big for business as usual. this morning, john boehner, harry reid, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy. a country faces few decisions as grave as using military force. even when a force is limited. i respect the views of those who called for caution, particularly as our country emerges from a time of war that i was elected in part to handle. but if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the cost of doing nothing. here's my question for every member of congress and every member of the global community what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? what is the purpose of the international system that we have built if the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98% of the world people, and approved overwhelmingly by the congress of the united states is not enforced? make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare.
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if we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? to governments who would choose to build nuclear arms, to terrorists who would spread biological weapons, to armies who carry out genocide? we cannot raise our children where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us. so just as i will take this case to congress, i will also deliver this message to the world -- while the u.n. investigation has some time to report on its findings, we will insist that a an atrocity committed with chemical weapons will not only be investigated, it must be confronted. i do not expect every nation to agree with the decision we have made. privately, we have heard many exertions of support from our friends, but i would ask those
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who care about the risk of the international community to stand publicly behind our actions. let me say this to the american people -- i know well that we are weary of war. we have ended one war in iraq, we are ending another in afghanistan, and the american people have good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in syria with our military. in that part of the world, there are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of arab spring have a lease changes that will take many years to resolve your that's why we are not contemplating on putting our troops in the middle of someone else's war. instead, we will continue to support the syrian people through our pressure on the assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people. but we are the united states of america.
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we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in damascus we built an international world order, and enforce the rules that give it meaning. we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depend on the responsibility of nations. we are not perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities. so to all members of congress, of both parties, i ask you to take this vote for our national security. i am looking forward to the debate. in doing so, i ask you, members of congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or politics of the moment. ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time.
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it is about who we are as a country. i believe that the peoples are presented as must be invested in what america does abroad. now with the time to show the world that america keeps our commitments. we do what we say. we lead with the belief that right makes might. not the other way around. we all know there are no easy options. i was not elected to avoid hard decisions, and neither were the members of the house and the senate. i have told you what i believe, that our security and demand cannot turn away from the massacre of civilians with chemical weapons. our democracy is stronger when the president and people represented stand together. i am ready to act. today i am asking congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation. thank you very much. >> will you support a strike of quackss disapproves?
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that was the scene two hours ago in the rose garden. protesters gathered in anticipation of the president's speech. but show you a couple of minutes of what was seen. [indiscernible]
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he does not need the united nations to go forward. this is very important. i want you to really hear it. even though he has the authority he does notout, wait or the congressional divide. what does that mean?
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congress is not in session. can only be with the emergency basis. it is not out of fear that he is ringing them back. [indiscernible]
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>> [chanting "no more silence"]
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>> how many kids have you gassed today? bomb today?s did yo bombany kids did you today? did you gass today? [crowd chanting]
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quacks the scene there in front of the white house earlier. the house republican leadership theuding others issued statement in response to the president remarks. under the constitution the responsibility to declare war lies with congress. we is glad he is seeking authorization for any military action in syria in response to serious sets attention -- substantive questions being raised.
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quacks this is at our days at page. this commemorates the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. priebus anes reince niece a martin luther king jr.. this runs just over an hour. quacks we're going to continue on with our program. you're going to hear from our dynamic cochair.
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>> i want to the reverend for the leadership in the dc republican party good afternoon to everyone. thank you for being here. im sharon sharon day. on behalf of the entire republican national committee i want to welcome you to our 50theon marking the anniversary of the march on washington. happy women's equality day. this is the day the 19th minute was added to our constitution 93 years ago. part of this history was led by the introduction of this amendment to congress by a 1870lican senator in
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eight. it's at the republican house and republican senate to finally pass that amendment in 1990. we are thrilled to have the votes. thank you. thrilled and honored to have the chance to come together and to mark the 50th anniversary of the march on washington which was a truly pivotal event in our countries history. of ourto recognize some very special speakers and guests. mr. dwight washington, thank you for that beautiful rendition of the national anthem. mr. robert brown, head of the associates that we had it at our luncheon. mr. bob woodson, founder and president of the center for
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neighborhood enterprise is who is doing great work out across communities and all across our country. not loud enough? [cheers] >> alright. announced recently rising stars. you will see a lot more of him around the country. reverend dean wilson of the frederick douglass foundation. it is a tremendous honor to have members of the king family. to me also say thank you the capitol hill club and to everyone at the rnc inmate this luncheon possible, especially our own national director for american strategic initiatives who's doing a fabulous job. winky.
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.- thank you tocome together today commemorate a moment in history that is best remembered by four dream." words "i have a we honor the hundreds of thousands of americans i came across the country to take a stand and to raise their voices. our america is a better place today because of their actions. i can remember watching with my family the coverage of the march. i did not fully understand the importance of what i was saying. i knew i was experiencing something that was willie -- really special. for me it is very special to be here in washington where it all happens and to mark this occasion with members of the king family and with all of you.
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past.we honor the we celebrate the future. we are thankful for the progress that has been made. we look to the future. together we continue the hard work of building a nation or individual opportunity and individual are available to every american. every child that hears those ands surely understands believes that individual has the opportunity that not only does he have that opportunity to follow and succeed but to experience their own dreams. beingwe thank you for here. we honor martin luther king and we honor those words. [applause]
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introduce you i am honored to to our first group of speakers. bob brown served with president nixon. they spoke of the legacy of the father. that he is a great hall of famer. he led off the field as secretary under president reagan. then we're going to have the .ivil rights founder
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he also continues to advocate the release of these. birth does not determine one's destiny. we like to call this remembering and honoring our past. if you would please join us. winky. quacks thank you. she is a wonderful person and has done a great job. i also appreciate all the works. he is all over the place. inyears ago i was here washington with the martin
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luther king junior and all the rest of them. and i did some marching and i did other things during those two are day -- two or three days we spent here. it was a revelation and it is all over again. we have rights to thank god for today. we have come a long way. there have been so many people, many of them in this room, who has sacrificed to bring us to this point in our history. and i want to thank the chairman of our party who has looked out and said we need to go up to another level and he is reaching
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out and taking a party to that level. [applause] i want to thank all of those people -- first, i want to thank god. then all of the people who sacrificed and the many who gave their lives that we may see this day. the years have been filled with torment and anger and death and many, many successes. we have a lot to be thankful for. we need to be prayerful and reaffirming our commitment to do everything we can to make this a better nation. we still have to work on that.
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because we still have to -- we still have people to understand especially people in power in the congress and the white house and everywhere else to know that this nation was built on compromise. and if we do not learn how to get it all together, we are going to sink the ship and we cannot afford to do that. [applause] all of you in this room have paid some kind of price to be here. to be here and to have this to come so far and with so little so many times. i think of the black colleges who now are suffering because we cannot get together on what we are going to do and not just for them, but to help them help their sales -- themselves. we are blocking that and that is not the right and we need to call it like it is. i do not care if it is coming
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from a democrat or republican, this is a part of our legacy. if you are wrong, you are wrong. if you want to find what we believe in and fight with our forefathers brought to this front, we be too lifted up and carry it up. [applause] know what it's like to have i know what it's like to have all kind of road blocks because life for me has not been a crystal stare. i know what the billy club feels like on my head and i know what the inside of a jail looks like because i have been there. i have been in the marches. i have been in the demonstrations. i have been to jail. but i also know what the mountaintop looks like. i have been to the white house. i worked there for many years under president nixon. we started the minority enterprise program and all of the rest of the program that are whateing cut out so i know we can do, i know what we're capable of doing and we need to
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get on with that. that d our organization are led by great people, many this rool, we need to sigh port them more and give them more so they can work with all of the different problems they're working with throughout our nation. so as i look back over those 50 years, as i look back and see what my grandmother used to say, she said to me, bobby, don't let anything get in your wear. just carry god with you. because in the end that will be the determination of who makes it and who doesn't make it. he can give you everything and i know because i came from a small town in north carolina with nothing, with zero. and have been able to do and do a lot of things all over the world, including going inside a
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prison to see nelson mandela and bringing his children over here and educating them while he was from prison. god can use your life. so i'm asking you all here today, whether you're democrat, republican, independent, no matter what you are, let's redetermine who we are and what we are for. and all of the organization that's we belong to. let's develop them around what we can do for our community and how we can collectively work together, black and white, rich and poor, all of us. we have a job to do. so today i'm asking all of you to let's use this time, let's lose our life to get on with god wants us to do. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you so much, mr. brown. so our next speaker is mr. jimmy canty, c.e.o. of jack kemp foundation, who will come and speak about the legacy of the jack kemp. [applause] >> thank you, all. incredible honor to be here. i'm not the c.e.o. of the jack kemp foundation. we're not quite big to need c.e.o. i'm just president of it. thank you, crystal, i will take the promotion. 50 years ago the march on washington for jobs and freedom took place. my father at the time played football for the buffalo bills and two years later he would be named to the american football leeling all-star team. that all-star team went to play a football game in new orleans, louisiana. closer to the mic?
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i like talking loud. i got my dad's genes for talking loud. can you all hear me? and in 1965 when they went down to new orleans, there was a running back for the buffalo bills named cookie gilchrist. cookie used to drive around the milk truck in the off-season when they had to make money, because football salaries didn't pay enough and his milk truck -- his truck was selling candies and ice cream, who knows what else, but his truck would say looky, looky, here comes cookie. [laughter] and but cookie is in new orleans, he's trying to get a cab. and he hails a cab, a cab stops and the cab driver rolls up the window and says sorry, sir, probably didn't say sir. just wanted to get to the bar
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down the street. what ended up happening african-american players couldn't stay in the same hotel as their white teammates and they decided to stand up and say this is not right. move the game. his father was president of the naacp at the time. tried to work out a solution. all of the white players agreed with the black players when they said let's move the game to houston. that was a seminole event in my dad's life and he was privileged to serve with many of you and, mr. chairman, he would be a huge supporter and encourager of you as the party reaches out to be the party of lincoln, which we all know that it is. it was not a mistake. that the march on washington was in front of the lincoln memorial. and we know that because of this union was predicated on our declaration of equality.
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that cause of freedom for all. he was the first president of the united states to invite blacks to the white house. and he was so sincere that in these meetings that frederick douglass said these words, i was impressed with his entire depree dom from popular prejudice against the color race. he was the first great man i talked with in the united states freely, who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself. those words ring so true of president lincoln and it was an , dr. o meet earlier king's neat, ail vadia, when read one of his sermons recently the word that rang true in my heart was love. he was a man that demonstrated love.
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30 years ago this month and, sharon, thank you for reminding us about women's equality and incredible contributions that women have made to this country, 30 years ago there was another seminole moment in my father's career. those who know my dad know he didn't take his mind very often. some called him johnny one note. bob tried to change his mind a few times. but 30 years ago my dad changed s mind about something the house of representatives was debating a creation of a holiday to honor dr. king. dad stood up and on the house of the floor he said, i have changed my position on this vote. because i really think the american revolution will not be complete until we commemorate the civil rights revolution and guarantee those basic declaration of human rights for all americans as remove barriers that stand in the way of peopling what they were meant to
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be. people, all of us, we have a purpose. we're supposed to be something and that's what makes this country the united states of america. people can come here and achieve whatever they set their mind to. however, we all know we've got many challenges and it's important to remember the wonderful exercise to remember the march. i appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share some words about my father but we know what dr. king, what my father, what all of your parents would say to us, don't think about us -- well, think about us, remember us. but go do something. don't let the lesson that's have been passed down go for naught. so at the jack kemp foundation one of the most critical projects we believe is in the legacy of dr. king and of my father is focusing on detroit. a city that is gone through incredible pain.
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and this is an opportunity for those of us who believe this is the greatest country in the world for people to have the opportunity to become all that they can be. we can go to detroit and it's a city where we which party has run that city for the past 50 years and we can propose different solutions, solutions . sed on our free enterprise strongly encouraging enterprise zones in detroit but we need ideas. anyone want to talk to us about detroit, that's where we think is one of the most important places to have an impact and to share in the cause that each of us believe. it's an honor to be with you all to share some words. i appreciate the opportunity. and god bless you. god bless america. thank you.
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>> thank you. now we will hear from mr. bob woodson sr., founder and president for the center of america.integrated >> good afternoon. the dr. king i remember was a man who was not content with reflecting the majority opinion or the consensus of the majority but he challenged it. we forget that the civil rights movement was not monolithic. that we had great conflict and . allenge within the students that sat in grones
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bore yore were protesting the from ce of legal rejust thurgood marshall and atlanta. king was sent there to discourage the students from continuing civil disobedience. but the students said follow or et out of the way. then we had snick and all of the others. when king went to birmingham, all of the black pastors, everybody opposed him. it was the young people who came out and supported him. they were the ones bitten by dogs and driven back. so there was all great -- that's why we had these organizations, snick, urban league, naacp, all competing with one another in this great debate, character. in fact dr. king confronted j.h. jackson. ahead of the national baptist convention and deposed him and he lost a vote and as a result why t. walker and dr. king left
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and formed the national rogressive baptist convention. that was great division. so there was progress that defined the civil rights movement. and there was one other thing in common and that is many of those who suffered and sacrificed those in struggle for civil rights did not benefit from the hange and that's why in 1965 congressman bill raspberry did this and i keep it on my wall. civil rights bypassing important negros that many of us who suffered and sacrifice did not benefit from the change and cortland malloy wrote in sunday's paper an article that said the same thing. that blacks today, we're talking
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about the dream, the dream for many of the dream of poor people, it is a nightmare. everybody has come in front of them on the bus. we neverigrants, women confront the conditions of poor blacks and poor people in general. you know, there's some years ago when the clan came to demonstrate in washington, d.c., the post went into the black neighborhood ward eight, which is the most dangerous one here, they asked an old brother what he thought about the clan. as we going to demonstrate? he said bring them down here so we can get rid of the drug dealers.
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is this brother respectful of racism? no. he's aware his reality informs him his biggest problem is not the klan but people who look . ke him a few days after king made that speech, four girls were blown apart at the church, civil right workers died and lawyer from boston beaten to death. the day of this demonstration, we had six people shot in washington the same day. black americans right now, young eople. we have a 9/11 every six months. over 4,000 died in 40 years of lynching. we lost more than that in one year. so the priorities that we have are not racism.
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just because i say that i have -- i need tires on my car, my mother needs heart surgery, we have to establish priorities. just because i spend my money and my resources helping my mother, doesn't mean i need tires. the challenge we face, are we going to give voice to the least of god's children as measure of our effectiveness on leadership. the answer will come by going into the community suffering the of the, not from the 70% households raising children dropping out of school and in jail. but what is happening in the 30% of the households of people not dropping out of school, in jail and on drugs? we unrolled a lady in tuskegee that's 19, going to accept -- accepted to college and for year she's been sleeping on buses studying, going to school.
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because she's homeless and she was admitford a shelter. we need to go into our communities and put a microphone in front of young people like this who are not drugging or dropping out of school and households that are successful in the midst of this. and we should invest time and individually they're antibodies and collectively represent an immune system. both political parties should be put on notice that the way forward is to compete for how you have served the least of od's children. not just outreach but uplift those at the bottom. all of the billions we're spending on attack ads against democrats and republicans, let's just take a small portion of that and invest it in community
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building so that the people you evering the problem will help he voice in their own uplift and that occur and how you have served the least of god's children. if dr. king were alive today, he would not be just talking about justice but trayvon martin. a prayer ld also give for the 18-year-old man and little baby shot in the face by two black kids or a world war ii veteran beaten to death for $50. r the or the oklahoma player killed. dr. king, he was morally consistent. he said the only way that a minority can survive in a majority country is insist on moral equality.
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moral consistant is what we should insist upon. we should play for the families of these fallen people as we do rayvon martin. in other words, we should not wit for evil to wear a white face before we get outraged. eve sl our enemy, whether it's a white face or not. and we must be honest about back politicians standing on the shoulders of those who sacrifice and use that position for corrupt purposes. we need to call them out because they are moral traders! they are moral trader. howling about that.s0 i'm sorry to be the skunk at the garden party.
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but i think if dr. king were alive today, he would step on some of these sacred issues. the way he did when he brought the civil rights movement together with the peace movement, carl rowan labeled him a communist. it was the naacp who castigated him. i was apt dais but i almost walked out when roy wick kens just castigated dr. king. but dr. king was the man again who was not just a man who reflected popular opinion or the consensus or the majority. but he was a man willing to take the risk to shape it. i hope some of our leaders today we won't be silent about these things that we walk around. thank you. [applause]
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>> this you so much, mr. woodson and thank you so much mr. brown for sharing with us those last words of wisdom and good leadership. and thank you so much for sharing your dad's legacy. we really appreciate it. next on the program we're going to have another music selection y mr. d.c. washington.
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♪ let it shine let it shine et it shine i can help somebody with a cheer somebody ord or song
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if i can show somebody they can try me wrong and my living shall not be in ain ♪ ♪ if i can do more of dreams come in and if i ever
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let them as the master taught in my living shall not be vain then my living shall not be in ain be in living shall not vain else as ielp somebody get along then my living schacht be in vain -- shall not be in vain
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hen my living not be in vain in my living shall not be vain as i haveelp somebody along then my living shall not be in in somebody as i pass along then my living shall not be in in
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let it shine let it shine t it shoon ♪ let it shine ♪ [applause] >> this you so much, dwight, for that beautiful selection. so next on our program we're going to have speaker of the oklahoma house of representatives, mr. t.w. shannon. t.w. represents the celebrating our present section in our program and we would like to have him here today.
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speaker shannon became the first black republican and youngest in the nation to become speaker of the oklahoma house of representatives. we are confident that speaker shannon will help lead us and the party into future and we're so glad to have him here. speaker? [applause] >> good afternoon. wow, thank you for that kind introduction. crystal, you know, republican party and chairman have been kind enough to bestow this rising star title upon me and i'm certainly honored by it but it reminds me i was worn in as speaker and all of my buddies started referring to me instead of t.w. as mr. speaker. we're all friends and family here so i will tell you like i told them, don't want to hear mr. speaker and rising star stuff. i expect to be treated like any other leader of the free rled wore. that's all that i ask. thank you is so much. in light of our gathering here today to commemorate both the
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spirit and an event and that of an individual, i'm reminded of a dramatic close of dr. king's "i have a dream" speech. it was a close that shook the very foundation of this nation. however, oftentime when's we consider the poetic and yet profound promises imprinted in that close, we place great emphasis on the foot of the dream so we should for it yields the sweet, satisfying taste of solidarity. nevertheless we must not overlook that in the same place and in the same clothes dr. king also spoke about the root of his dream. after acknowledging the difficulties that awaited those who struggled for freedom and justice and rights of all, dr. king went on to say, i still have a dream. it is a dream deeply rooted in the american dream. after citing the soil in which his dream was rooted which he stated so viv udly, deeped rooted in the american deem, dr. king quoted the first 14 words of the preamble to the declaration of the independence.
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we hold these truths to be self-evident. that all men are created equal. drawing from the rich soil of the american creed, dr. king's dream was no less american then the declaration of independence itself. no less american then the constitution of the united states. in fact, dr. king's dream was no less american then the dream itself because his dream was planted in the promises inscribed and enforced by prudent men who fought to form this very idea. it was indeed the same pro link words from that american gospel preacher out of atlanta, georgia, that jolted the conscience of this nation, reminding american the true source of her beauty, which is the resolve to let freedom ring in the face of any and all tyranny, both foreign and domestic. was was it coincidence or divine providence has been mentioned before the lincoln memorial that dr. king uttered the words of his dream referring to the declaration of independence as his premise. just as president link an has
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done during his gettysburg address 100 years earlier. both men nure our nation's founding principles along with the word of god to recalibrate america when the winds of injustice and inequality blew it dangerously off course. as we consider the root of the man and fruit of his vision, it was through his unwavering is service, his insightful sharing of his dream and his ultimate sacrifice which caused his abrupt departure that dr. king gave us not only a legacy to inspire, he also gave us lesson to guide. the lesson is is this and it's simple. the key to fulfilling the dream that promises the bouptyful national harvest, harvest of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, a harvest of a quality education for all of our children, whether public or private schools, a harvest of limited government and strong families. harvest of economically thriving nation who doesn't wait for her kids and grandkids to pick up the tab for generation's
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ferocious appetite for bigger government. a nation where even least these may have a chance to experience prosperity that can only be derived in the satisfaction of personal responsibility and hard work. in order to produce such a harvest, we must follow king's lead by protecting the root of the dream and soil in which it's planted, which is soil of freedom and justice, not for some but for everyone. for friends you see in the root of the dream drives below, branches will surely wither above and the harvest will most certainly be ruined. but if we protect both the root of the dream and the original soil of human dignity from which it draws its strength, if we protect them from con tam napts of government dependence, class warfare, socialism ofism, and any other polluteant that would muzzle the ring of freedom and stifle the ripe harvest of justice in our nation, if we were with resolve do that, then and only then fulfill not only the dream of a great man, also the dream of a great nation. there was an incident that took
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place in anchorage, alaska, in july 2012 that i think depicts the raw, heroic nature of our when the husband was delayed, the wife came out and saw her husband was being attacked with a moose. she grabbed a shovel and she managed to get the moose to back away. the resourcefulness depicts the nature of this nation and in spirit form of when the odds are against us, we do not yield. if and when everything fails, we go to our pickups. we're featuring the founded principles to guide us and let's use what we have.
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may god bless you and the dream and these united states of america. [applause] >> thank you so much. our next speaker is congressman jim sensenbrenner. he has fought to protect the gains made. he introduced the reauthorization of the voting rights act and amendments. after approximately 20 hearings and those of you who have worked on the hill know that is a lot
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of hearings. the measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. however, the supreme court struck down a key provision that congressman sensenbrenner has worked with his colleagues to update so the most sacred right will not be jeopardized. let us welcome, jim sensenbrenner. [applause] >> thank you very much and it is an honor to be here today. i wish to salute reince priebus for that out together -- getting us altogether. this is important getting together and it shows the concern that we republicans have with minorities and in particular african-americans. some people ask why i am so concerned about civil rights. while i never knew dr. king personally and was able to see what he accomplished was worth as i was struggling to get out of law school and go to vietnam during those troubled times in our countries history.
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i hearkened back to a trip that my dad and i took when i was about 12 years old. we drove from wisconsin for spring break. when we got into the deep south, i saw the very strange experience of two bathrooms and two water fountains and motels that said white only or colored only. and we stopped for gas there was usually an african-american who filled my dad's car with gas and a white man came out and collected the money. usually the filling of the tank cost five dollars back in the good old days. finally after experiencing this for a better part of the day, i turned to my dad and said, what is wrong down here?
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the african-americans are people, too. they seem to be kept almost in a state of slavery even though we northerners fought a civil war to end slavery and to preserve the union led by the first republican president. that is when i got highly sensitive to the civil rights movement that dr. king was really a spark plug of. if you look at all of the civil rights bills that were passed in the 1950's and 1960's in the eisenhower, johnson, and kennedy administrations. the most important was the voting rights act. it took away artificial barriers, register vote and gave minorities a clear shot at winning elective offices.
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it prevented them from doing and that gave me my commitment to keep the voting rights act a live and well. i was able to broker the deal that kept it going in 1982 and in 2006 i gave a commitment to the naacp convention that we would reauthorize the voting rights act during that session of congress. and i was able to do that as chairman of the judiciary committee with the 20 hearings and 15,000 pages of testimony which the supreme court decided to either ignore or decide it was too much for them to read and look at what discrimination was still occurring in many of the sections.
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i am committed to restoring voting rights act as an effective tool to prevent discrimination. more subtle discrimination than overt discrimination. this is going to be difficult because the way the court worded its decision. so far, this effort has been bipartisan and bicameral. a month and a half ago, congressman john lewis went and testified before the senate judiciary committee and how important the voting rights act is. at the end of the testimony, mr. lewis turned around and put his arm on my shoulder and said, jim, you are my friend and my brother. and that was one the highest accomplishments i ever received in almost 46 years in elected public office. senator leahy said i am a civil rights icon and i said, no am i am not an icon. i am a mechanic.
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my job is to fix the voting rights act. the first thing we have to do is to take the monkey wrench that the court threw in it out of the voting rights act and then use that monkey wrench to be able to fix it so it is alive, well, constitutional, and impervious to another challenge that will be filed by the usual suspects. i am with you on this. [applause] with all of the problems that we have over the budget problems, the resolutions and the debt ceiling and the snooping by the nsa, this is something that has to be done by the end of the year so that a revised and
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constitutional voting rights act is in place before the 2014 election season both primaries and general elections start to run. we have job number one that is before us. i know we are all here for job number one. it is not going to be easy but when we are all together, we shall overcome. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. our next speaker really does not need an introduction. i would like to say special remarks about our distinguished chairman, reince priebus. in march, we released the growth and opportunity project and it is a 100 page document. under his leadership, we will be engaging minority communities for the first time, we will be going to communities and being there three years before any election. reince priebus believes that every vote counts and i am so
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honored and so blessed to have the opportunity to work under him. please welcome reince priebus. >> thank you to you all and to crystal and what a great job she has done. jim sensenbrenner just made some news. it is always -- you have to appreciate the wisconsin cheesehead leadership. he has been a leader -- when i was a young guy in wisconsin, jim ran the show. he was the leader of everything that we did and tommy thompson
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came around. he was a pioneer. obviously now it is scott walker, ron johnson. it is an incredible place. i am grateful for everything jim has done. i know in his heart and you heard him say it is at his core at the things he believes. as chairman of the rnc, i wanted to take this opportunity that we had together to commemorate this historic week here in history. i want to keep my remarks brief and everybody has said so much and i am grateful for everybody here. if you look around this room,
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and you just about know what this means for our party, with the lessons we can learn and what i can learn as chairman of the party. you cannot make the sale if you do not show up for the order. [applause] this is a good example of something a few weeks ago, we need to be a part of this. we need to commemorate this historic day. how many people are going to come? we are in recess. i do not know. the rnc sending an invite. look around. it is a blessing to our party. [applause] and i want to tell you, i know that in this room -- it is not 100% republican and i know that. i know that few democrats came up and said, you know what, we are supporting this because the republican party is not going to fight like crazy for every single vote in this country and do not fight like crazy for the african-american vote, then
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guess what? the other side takes it for granted. we need both sides fighting for every vote in this country. bob brown has become a mentor to me. he sat down at the table with dr. king and worked with a president on equality. you visited nelson mandela in prison. we want to keep learning from you. we want to grow and learn those lessons. [applause] bob woodson, you have dedicated your life to building communities and transforming lives in schools and neighborhoods. you have blessed so many people. you are a huge blessing to paul ryan. he talks about you everywhere he goes now.
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i thank you for that. speaker shannon, i mean tw, we're not allowed to call you speaker anymore. you will see why we labeled him as a rising star of this party. the future of the republican party. tw shannon and members of our community and pat mullins and a few more and jill and we are thankful to you. jimmy kemp, thank you for carrying on the vision of your beloved father that the american dream should be a reach for all americans. and it is wonderful to have representatives of the civil rights community, hilary shelton from the naacp and marc morial and the leadership conference. and so many other organizations. at our core, we are fighting in our own ways for a better country. it is so good that we can come together like this and something that quite frankly we do not do enough. and we are going to start doing more of it. today is a big lesson of what it means when you decide we are going to do anyway and put out an invitation and we have been overwhelmed today and this
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afternoon. i know today is not about partisan politics. i do want to take the chance that we have to share a few thoughts about what an anniversary like this means to us as a party. today and in the future. when dr. king spoke to the crowd not far from here, he said, 1963 is not an end but a beginning. 50 years later, as we look back, this commemoration is not just about the past. 1963 through was beginning and the march for jobs was the first step, where do we stand 50 years down the road? what we stand half a century along the journey? certainly, america has come a long way. on wednesday, 50 years to the day when dr. king spoke on the steps of the lincoln memorial, america's first black president
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will address the crowd and all americans understand and recognize that incredible significance. but still, as many before me said, there is so much more work to do. marchers came to washington in 1963 to claim their right to the american dream. for those of us in politics and public life today, we cannot rest until that dream is a reach for everybody. it is a call for action. as americans, what can we do for the cause of justice and opportunity? for the marcher's call for jobs. we have to keep working until every american has a shot and
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jobs are plentiful and communities are thriving. that means helping the black and minority owned businesses grow. it means ensuring hbcu can weather the hard times. and it means fixing our schools. every child in america deserves a quality education. the chance to attend a good school. to build a better life. a child's education should not be determined by their zip code. no child should be stopped -- stuck in a failing school. it is unfair when children are stuck in failing schools --
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america is failing its children. we have to fight for better schools for all kids because it is nothing less than a civil rights issue. education is essential to equal opportunity. and that is essential to the american dream. as republicans, this is one area where we can lead. i was raised in wisconsin. not far where the republican party was born in 1854. you ever wonder where a guy got a name like reince priebus. i am what happens when a greek and a german gets married. my kid's name is jackson, so we went in the opposite direction. it was worth breaking the tradition.
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my mom was born in sudan and my dad was in the army in ethiopia and they moved back eventually to wisconsin. i got involved in politics as a little kid and i was always interested in my grandfather in greece who loved politics and he came to love this country. he loved every little thing about it. i was in a state that the republican party was born in. our party's beginning was born around issues of civil rights and equal opportunities.
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our party has a rich, proud history of equality, freedom, opportunity. [applause] we do not tell our story anymore, we will close the history of this party. we do not tell it, but we are going to. it's about time we do. i also know that -- do not address the issues of today. i get it. we'll do better in building a better future, it is up to us. we have an opportunity that god gave us. we are not here by accident. i am not here standing before you by accident. we have a lot of work to do. i want to make you proud of this party. it is going to take a lot of work. we are talking about building a republican party like we have never done, that is what we are doing. i am not interested in doing a story here or there or by hiring a couple of people and calling it in our story.
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that is not going to do it. we are talking about reaching from every corner of this country, and communities with community leaders influencing and telling our story. if we start telling our story again, that we can do better and i know that we can do better. that is the vision that we have. we should draw inspiration from the words of dr. king that echoed across the national mall and across this country in 1963. words that called us to remember the basic promise of america's founding that god created us all equal and all of us deserve an equal chance at making it in this great country. when dr. king spoke at the march, he talked of standing in the symbolic shadow of the great emancipator. today, we stand in the shadow of the great civil rights leader. we recommit ourselves to his
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cause for a better america to the dream he spoke of when he quoted isaiah, chapter 40. imagine the day where every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain made low and the rough places made plain and the crooked places made straight. may god bless the legacy of dr. king and the march on washington and may god guide us in the continued pursuit of what is just and right. thank you and god bless you. i appreciate it. thank you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much for those remarks. thank you for joining us.
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if you will remain standing, we givehave the benediction. a great round of of laws against. if you also want to say how difficult it has been for you. say doing this is important because it is right. i know it is not going to be in easy task. we want to say to it is the right wing to do. i'm reminded of my grandmother who said it is never wrong to do what is right. i believe this is the right thing to do.
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thatld like to remind us this has this to say about the israelites as they were in exile. he encouraged them to have families, to prosper and to have even thoughtinue they were in an exiled position. the last thing he encouraged them to do, he said to pray for the city. he said as you pray for the o will prosper.to as we have a commitment to praying for our nation and the urban centers of america, i believe the best days can be before us. fors going to take people personal bowls of which we talked about today taking
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advantage of a nation. can you grab the hand of the person next to you? >> we want to thank you so very much for this great occasion. as we stand here on the anniversary of the march on washington, i am reminded that 50 is the number of jubilee. jubilee is a great celebration. we get the opportunity to celebrate the successes that we as a people have achieved as americans. i asked that you would continue to empower us to do what we are unable to do on our own. give us a fresh vision for the future. to pass the baton to the next generation that a might not a nations is
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that has forsaken you but a nation that is remembering the gods of our forefathers. we thank you for the legacy of dr. king and the keen family and the legacy of this republican party. this would ultimately make america a shining example. for all you are doing in us and there as. but the people join together with eight men -- an amen. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> we will have more on the 50th anniversary of the march on washington for you tonight with civil rights leaders who are part of the early 1960s civil rights movement. andkers include john lewis former chairman julian bond as well as others. you can watch it and i 20 p.m. eastern) c-span. what are the most fun times i've ever had it was 2006. they looks like democrats were really going to take back over it the house. it was looking pretty bad. if we wouldto know have breakfast to them.
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i had met him before. he had been to so many of these districts over the years. he was asking us how bad is this? we were saying it is pretty bad. it is pretty fun when you get to talk to various caucuses. he get a glimpse of the inside. >> with more than 30 years, charlie cook has uncovered the trends walk covering everything since 1984. >> just before 2:00, president obama addressed the nation about the u u.s. response
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>> good afternoon, everybody. 10 days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women, and children were massacred in syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. yesterday, the united states presented a powerful case that the syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. our intelligence shows the assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of damascus, and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. all of this corporate's what the -- corroborates what the world can plainly see.
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hospitals overflowing with victims. terrible images of the dead. all told, well over 1000 people were murdered. several hundred of them were children. young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government. this attack is an assault on human community.-- human dignity. it also presents a serious danger to our national security. it risks making a mockery of the global role vision on the use of -- prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. it endangers our friends and our partners along syria's border including israel, turkey, lebanon, and iraq. it leads to an escalating use of chemical weapons or the proliferation for terrorist groups who would do our people harm. a world with many damage, this-- in a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted.
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after careful deliberation, i have decided that the unit states should take military action against syrian regime targets. this will not be an open-ended intervention. we would not put boots on the ground. and said, our action will be designed to be limited in duration and scope. but i'm confident we can hold the assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out. our military has assets in the region, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. it will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now. i am prepared to give that order. but having made my decision as commander in chief based on what i am convinced is our national
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security interests, i am also mindful that i'm the president of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. i have longed believe that power is not rooted in our military might but in our example of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. that is why i have made a second decision -- i will seek authorization for the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. for the last several days, we have heard from members of the congress who want their voices to be heard. i absolutely agree. so this morning, i spoke with all congressional leaders, and they agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as congress comes back into session. in the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with of the information they need to understand what happened in syria and why it has such profound implications for america's national security.
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and all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote. i'm confident in the case our government has made without waiting for u.n. inspectors. i am comfortable going forward without the approval of a united nations security council that has so far been completely unverified and unwilling to hold -- paralyzed and unwilling to hold assad accountable. as a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to congress. undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the united kingdom this week when the parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even if the prime minister supported taking action. yet, while i believe i have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, i know that the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective. we should have this debate.
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the issues are too big for business as usual. this morning, john boehner, harry reid, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy. a country faces few decisions as grave as using military force. even when a force is limited. i respect the views of those who called for caution, particularly as our country emerges from a time of war that i was elected in part to handle.-- in part to end. but if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the cost of doing nothing. here's my question for every member of congress and every member of the global community-- what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? what is the purpose of the
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international system that we have built if the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98% of the world people, and approved overwhelmingly by the congress of the united states, is not enforced? make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare. if we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? to governments who would choose to build nuclear arms, to terrorists who would spread biological weapons, to armies who carry out genocide? we cannot raise our children where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us. so just as i will take this case to congress, i will also deliver this message to the world -- while the u.n. investigation has
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some time to report on its findings, we will insist that a an atrocity committed with chemical weapons will not only be investigated, it must be confronted. i do not expect every nation to agree with the decision we have made. privately, we have heard many exertions of support from our friends, but i would ask those who care about the risk of the-- the writ of the international community to stand publicly behind our actions. let me say this to the american people -- i know well that we are weary of war. we have ended one war in iraq, we are ending another in afghanistan, and the american people have good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in syria with our military. in that part of the world, there are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of arab spring have a lease changes -- have unleashed changes that will take many years to resolve your that's why we are not contemplating on putting our
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troops in the middle of someone else's war. instead, we will continue to support the syrian people through our pressure on the assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people. but we are the united states of america. we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in damascus we built an international world order, and enforce the rules that give it meaning. we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depend on the responsibility of nations. we are not perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities. so to all members of congress, of both parties, i ask you to take this vote for our national security. i am looking forward to the debate. in doing so, i ask you, members of congress, to consider that
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some things are more important than partisan differences or politics of the moment. ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time. it is about who we are as a country. --believe that the peoples are people's representatives must be invested in what america does abroad. now with the time to show the world that america keeps our commitments. we do what we say. we lead with the belief that right makes might. not the other way around. we all know there are no easy options. i was not elected to avoid hard decisions, and neither were the members of the house and the senate. i have told you what i believe, that our security and demand cannot turn away from the massacre of civilians with chemical weapons. our democracy is stronger when --e president and people people's representatives stand
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together. i am ready to act. today i am asking congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation. thank you very much. >> will you support a strike of congress disapproves? >> that was the scene in the rose garden about three hours ago rick at the same time, in front of the white house, protesters. we will show you a little bit of that right now. >> [indiscernible]
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>> members of congress have been responding to the president's remarks. house minority leader nancy pelosi said "military action in response to assad's reckless use of deadly gas that is limited in
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scope and duration without boots on the ground is in our national security interest." senators john mccain and lindsey graham released a joint believet, " we president obama's correct that the assad regime's use of chemical weapons requires a military's response by the united states and our friends and allies. however, we cannot in good conscious support isolated military strikes in syria are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the president stated goal of assad' will from power, and bring an end to the conflict." you can watch the debate when congress returns on september 9 right here on the c-span networks. now a look at the long-term impact of cuts to the head start program as result of the automatic budget cuts under sequestration. had the -- the head start program serves about one million children each year and is federally funded but run by local agencies. this was hosted by the center
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for american progress. it is just over an hour. >> good morning, everybody. welcome. my name is carmel martin. i am the executive vice president for policy here at the center for american progress. we are delighted to be hosting this event today with the national head start association on the impact that budget cuts are having on our youngest and most vulnerable children. havee lucky to practitioners here today who will know better than any of us the impacts of these cuts on children and their communities. we are grateful to them for coming to share their stories with us. it is fitting that we are doing this event today on the anniversary of the march on washington because this really is a critical issue from the perspective of civil rights.
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too often, children of color from low income communities enter school behind their peers. this gap continues as they move throughout their academic career. programs like head start like -- try to level the playing field. when programs like head start are cut, it is children of color who are disproportionately impacted. the states that will experience the largest cut in theiruestration enrollment, california and , childrenve over 70% of color. high-quality early education programs are some of the best tools we have to ensure children have an equal shot at success. in washington, we are continuing to focus on the concept of budget cuts rather than investments in our future. this is the wrong debate for us to be having. recently, one of our panelists today, michael linden, our
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managing director for our economic team, he put out a paper that called for a reset in the debate in light of the fact that we have already had one $.2 trillion in deficit reduction, and because of lower the costs, we are on track, even without sequestration, to reach goals set over four years ago. and michael's paper, we also pointed out that fiscal austerity measures are failing and stifling economic growth. we have challenged congress to take these facts into evidence and shift the debate from cuts into investments in our future. there is no better place for us to invest then in our young children. in that paper, we called upon congress to embrace the president's plan to make substantial investments in early childhood education. the evidence for these investments is overwhelming. child who doesn't receive a high-quality early
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childhood education is 25% more likely to drop out of school, 40% more likely to become a teen parent, 50% more likely to be placed in special education, 60% more likely never to attend college, and 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. other countries are acting on this evidence. china has pledged to increase preschool enrollments by 50% by 2020. mexico has committed to provide preschool to all of its four- year-olds. india has announced plans to reach 60% of its children with preschool education. these countries know that these investments will lead to a more competitive workforce for their countries, and if we want to continue to compete in the global economy, any to do the same. to i would like to turn over the executive vice president and partner for this event. she is executive vice president for the national head start organization. she is a long-term advocate for children and families.
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she represents the voices of millions of head start families and staff. we are happy to have her here today to talk about how sequester is affecting the head start community on a national level. yes nina -- yasmina? >> thank you for that kind introduction. good morning, everyone. we have a small staff. i am the executive director. we have no room for executive vice president's yet. -- president yet. i want to take a minute to thank our host, the center for american progress, or the generosity and willingness to bring attention to this really important issue. all of us in this room care deeply about the fate of the nations at risk children. a formd that this is that allows us to talk frankly about the impact of sequestration on those most vulnerable. i thank all of you in the audience for being here, when i
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know you would all rather be in front of the lincoln memorial today. this is an auspicious time for us to be thinking about ensuring that all children have access to great opportunities. by the all been moved celebration this weekend of the 50th anniversary on the march on washington. today is the day to actually reflect on the breathtakingly important moment in our nation's history, the joy of knowing how far we have come, and the stark reminder of how far we still have to go. mention, head start has its roots in the push for equality. we are pleased to have anita thompson here, from mississippi, because 48 years ago, there were drive-by shootings at headstart programs in her state, and some toloyers were threatening
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not send their children to headstart. we have come some way, and we have a ways to go. and earlyeadstart childhood education programs were serving a scant 40% of all eligible children. waiting lists or long. -- were long. rising fixed costs and rent, energy. we have almost always operated at the margins because it seems inconceivably -- inconceivable not to spend every available dollar on providing the best quality program for every possible child. when the unthinkable happened and sequestration became the new reality this march, we had little left to cut. you recently saw -- you have likely seen the recent report
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that over 57,000 fewer children will be served in head start and early head start next year because of the sequester. this is not a small number. numbercrunching thinkers in our team figured out that 57,000 people would fill a football stadium at the university of louisville. they would fill 1900 school miles in areate 6.5 traffic jam. with their arms outstretched, the kids would surround the national mall six and a half times. while it is true that this number is lower than the original projections, a closer look at the details shows an even more troubling picture. headstart programs across the country have the authority to be flexible in implementing these cuts. that is an opportunity for which we are all grateful. this flexibility is a double- edged sword.
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many more children and families will be affected by the cuts. here is how. the data show that programs cut 1.3 million days from the school year. not only does this take away very critical days of early learning, but it also puts parents and families in the difficult situation of finding quality, affordable childcare options in order to stay employed. from a survey that we conducted at nhsa, more than a quarter of the programs closed one or more of the locations grid -- l ocations. parents will have to transport their children to new, far ways -- faraway centers. it is a tough ask for them. programson, 15% of the in our survey reported cutting transportation. that is reducing access for the most isolated and vulnerable families.
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even before the sequester, only half of the programs have been able to afford to offer transportation. these strategies for cutting are not sustainable. this ensures that any additional cuts will have an even greater impact on access in 2014. the office of headstart also reports that 25,000 staff have either seen their salaries cut or lost their jobs. that means the headstart field will lose the expertise and the investments that were made and staff education and training over the last six years. that -- asked me earlier this year what i would've liked to be talking about in 2013, my answer would not have been sequestration. i have been lucky enough during my time in this field to witness the slow building acceptance
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among policymakers and citizens alike of the critical importance of investing in high-quality, early education. today, the environment in which we advocates find ourselves could not be more positive. i know i speak for all of us when i say i am pleased that the help -- the researchers have given us better and more on a healthy early childhood experience. i'm thrilled to see the think tanks in washington paying more and more attention to this issue. allies and supporters in congress every week. i'm surprised and elated that we e - deleted -- delighted that we are speaking in accordance with the military staff. i'm overjoyed to be working with the business community. been a moment in recent history when the national acceptance of early learning was at such a high?
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punchtration was a swift that took the wind out of the the millionss of affiliated with headstart, our families, our staff, our volunteers, and our advocates. how could we have misjudged the support we thought we were building if congress could have allowed this to happen? in the midst of this anxiety, our best champion, president obama, announced his plans to oppose massive new investments in high quality early learning. this is what we should be talking about. we have more data behind us now than ever before. we have more acceptance on the part of states and local communities behind us than ever before. but the stalemate over the budget and our lingering -- the lingering shock of sequestration prevents us from diverting our attention to new initiatives while we are still cutting children from our programs. in the end, the answer is the same. investments matter. today we come together to talk about the impact of those
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investments, adding to them slowly over time, as smart financial advisors tell us to do. if i think about what i feel most for headstart, it is the unintended consequences of a death by a thousand cuts. we cannot cut delayed the loss in morale for our employees and advocates, and we cannot calculate the loss of hope on a family that has turned away. is continue to sound the alarm that these cuts cannot be sustained. --ay's panel is deeply deeply understands the harm sequestration has caused, and i hope we find new ammunition to use in our fight to reverse the damage. passionatety is a one. we disagree all the time, but we all come back to the same table because we are united in our long-standing common goal to
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expand access to high-quality early childhood experiences to all children. am, as always, privileged to work with each of you and grateful for your support as we conquer this hurdle today so that we may focus again on a brighter future. it is my real pleasure now to introduce a true leader, a callier, who is apparent representative on the parentl board -- a representative on the national board. she is an exceptional advocate. just recently, she and her daughter gave this amazing testimony to the budget and really made some great impact there. please join me in welcoming siobhan callier. [applause]
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good morning. for theu, yasmina, opportunity to join you today. it is really an honor to be here on such an historic day to talk with you all about the importance of headstart and the challenge we parents face with the sequester. said, my name is siobhan callier. mother of reya coallier. she is lucky to be starting in headstart this fall print across the country, i know many of her peers are not so lucky. attends a parent-child center here in washington dc where i am the former chair of the parent policy council and currently sit on the national head start association's board.
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at the center, we were able to avoid cutting children slots this year only because we won a grant from the d.c. office of state superintendent of education, or occe. grant funded an extra classroom that we would have had to cut due to the sequester, but this was a one-time grant, and i have no idea how our center will continue to avoid cutting children and classrooms. reya plays in and learns and, if we continue to face future cuts. just because we were able to not have children this year, don't think that the cuts were still not felt deeply by the staff. i think this is something that many people who do not go to the center every day do not understand. the staff has been incredible to me. .nd to the other parents but you can see the extra stress
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on the faces every day. several positions have already been eliminated, and even those staff who still have their jobs are often doing the work of 2, 3, or even for different people. these are the people who passionately work to make sure classmatesnd her learn, are healthy, and get ready for school. they should only have to stress about keeping the children safe, engaged, and learning, not about their own livelihood. i do really admire them, but it is clear that the sequester has impacted the staff and that unfortunately rubbed off on the children. and i were soa lucky, but i have also heard about other parents who have not been so lucky. fromts like chris anna kansas who had to travel over an hour each way to drop off and pick up her daughter after their program closed and cut all
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transportation services to nearby programs. or worst of all, kelly in maryland who had to quit her job because his -- her son lost his spot, and she was not able to find or afford quality childcare. i can tell you, i'm in the same place. it is not like there are other programs or affordable places for reya togo. -- to go. i'm just talking about those parents who were lucky enough to even get a headstart slot to begin with. i have many friends who wish they could get their children in headstart. upper-middle-class folks who probably do not qualify for headstart, and many other folks who probably do qualify, i see they are jealous of me because they know how effective it is and have it seen work on reya and her development. but they either cannot afford a program like it or there just isn't enough room in their community.
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that i up, i have to say never wanted or thought that i would find myself in this position. for many parents like me, finding a job, succeeding at the job, and raising a young one is a struggle and challenging enough, but after losing my job and struggling to find another in this economy, the extra stresses were overwhelming. headstart has helped me through it all. i have now found a job. , i'm still i have not making enough to afford quality childcare. the stabilitybeen in my life and in reya's, but that is quickly changing because of the sequester and the uncertainty it has brought us great im proud of what we have done, but i know most other folks across the country were not so lucky. it is clear that if the sequester continues, even we will have to cut classrooms and families like me, and nobody seems to care or even wants to talk about it.
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i understand congress and president obama have to make hard decisions, that i do not understand why they should take it out on our children. our children are our future. we owe it to them to provide every opportunity for them to succeed. we should be doing more to help our children like reya and others, but until then, i just want people to understand that the sequester hurts and it is our reality. over 57,000 stories out there just like mine. thank you. [applause] of ourbody did -- one affiliates did a study of the health of people in childcare, , and the administrators, the directors
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came out as the most stressed. we will have a chance now to the executive director of the headstart in rockland county, new york. she was born in white plains, tenant in north carolina -- attended north carolina before beginning her his career -- her career. president of the new york headstart association. please join me in welcoming her to the podium. [applause] >> good morning. i'm so happy to be here. i think the national head start association and the center for american progress for this opportunity. i would like to start off by saying -- i'm going to repeat some of what has been said -- but i would like to say in new york state, there has been 3847
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children who have lost their slots in headstart. at headstart of rockland, we were unable to serve 300 children for our summer program. these were four-year-olds who were ready for school, and we have prepared them through school readiness to be prepared for school. they are losing all that preparation that we did at headstart. when we pass through the community, we see young children sitting in windows watching the world go by. they are not attending a program , and they are not having any kind of opportunity. we know that these children are at risk. they are children, they have different family situations. they come from low income families. substandard housing. a lot more. we really need to think about what is going on. york wonders in new
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what is going on, what happened, why is this happening to headstart and these children and families? --dstart programs have cut they have eliminated positions, they laid off staff, they cut hours, they cut staff benefits, transportation has been cut, the number of days of the programs have been reduced, and at headstart of rockland, we reduced our days. we are negotiating with our vendors, asking them, can you 10%, whatever they can do to help us so we can make our budget work? we are also cutting classroom supplies. when you talk about the return on investment, we know that if you invest one dollar now today, your return is seven dollars or nine dollars later. these children are very vulnerable. early childhood has been proven
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that it reduces the rate of crime, that children go on to college, they are less likely to be on social welfare programs. we really need to support headstart and all that it does. the 50th, it is anniversary of the march on washington, and we have to think back and remember what the war on poverty was all about and why it was created, why headstart was started. when you think about it, it is so confusing that at this time headstart is being attacked and cut, but we really need to think about what is going on. headstart, -- throughout headstart, there are fears as to what is going to happen next year, what are going to be the cuts, what is going to happen to the children, what is going to happen to the families? it is very hard for staff to function if they do not know, next year, will i have a job?
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it is very stressful for directors and everybody and the families. i'm asking everybody to please and hopefullyart, we can overcome this. thank you very much. [applause] thanks so much for sharing those personal stories with us. at this time, i want to invite our panel up to join us on the stage great we are thrilled to have some of the next experts -- stage. we are thrilled to have some of the best experts. i will turn it over to christina salyer was -- samuels who will introduce our panel and the discussion. >> good morning, everyone. is christina samuels.
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i'm a staff writer with "education week." this is a fascinating time to be covering early education and young children. we have a great panel here to discuss some of these important issues. i would like to give the panel a brief moment to introduce themselves before we launch into questions. if we can start here to my left, if you can introduce yourself and your background. have the honor of serving as executive director for the mississippi headstart association. our office is located in jackson, mississippi. i have been with headstart since 1988. i am excited to be here today to share some of our concerns about seco station. -- sequestration. >> i and the associate director for education, income maintenance, and labor at the office of the management and budget. president, wehe oversee the budgets of a number of federal agencies, including education and the administration
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for children and families. director of policy and planning at the office of headstart within the department of health and human services grade i started my early childhood career 20 years ago in a headstart agency in brooklyn. i'm really happy to be here today. >> i'm from the center on budget and policy priorities. i am the vice president of budget and policy economic opportunity. november,eturning in i work for secretary said belly is at the department of health and human services. >> -- worked for secretary sebelius at the department a few -- of health and human services. >> great. colleen, i was wondering if we can start with you. we heard the numbers that have been mentioned in the introduction about the over 57,000 slots that have been lost. i wonder if you might be able to drill down more into that.
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i know the office of headstart has some additional information on that. know thoseif we numbers, what we might be seeing if sequestration continues? i'm not sure what information we have on that. >> let me start drilling down a little bit into the numbers we do have. -- 57,265 is our top is our top line number of students who lost access to headstart because of this -- these cuts. 51,003 and four-year-olds who would have been in headstart. about 60% of our program had to make these cuts. then there were other programs that made other choices. as was mentioned, there was some flexibility about how programs were able to implement the cuts with the caveat that the standards we have for the quality and health and safety of our programs are a
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nonnegotiable, that is something programs cannot minimize the quality or do anything that would not meet our general standards. we had some flexibility of things we could let programs do differently this year. notrams also made choices only to serve fewer children, which is the 57,000 number, but children are also not receiving headstart and early head start for fewer days over the school year. the top line number that we talked about their is that across the country, there is 1.3 million less days of headstart going to children across the country. about 28% ofns is our programs chose to shorten the school year. 87,000 kids are receiving a shorter headstart year. about 15e, that is days shorter. even headstart kids lucky enough to be in headstart are actually having their school year reduced by close to a month, more than three weeks. somether big number is
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programs chose to have a shorter day. about 11,000 kids are having shorter headstart day. on average, programs that shortened the day shorten it by about an hour and a half great a child getting a six hour program will now only be receiving about a four and a half hour program. big impacts of kids not receiving it, but we also know more about them getting less hours and less days of headstart for kids still enrolled. >> that is a great national perspective. i wonder what we are actually seeing in mississippi both with the children who are enrolled in headstart and with the adults who are employed. >> we are looking at in mississippi about 1800 and rome and opportunities -- enrollment lost.unities
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it has been a significant loss in jobs. we are one of the major employers in the state of mississippi. now that adversely affects not only families who will not have access to high-quality care for their children, staff who won't have jobs, and then the goods and services that we purchase and vendors we use in the community -- those things will not be available anymore. i wanted to go back to calling really quickly to ask -- i don't know whether we know at this point what further cuts might be coming down the line, if sequestration continues -- is that something that is still to be determined? >> we don't know exactly what programs we will face in 2014. one thing we do know is that some of the changes that programs made this year are not sustainable. timeay have had a one-
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cutting to transportation, and they use that money to be able to keep more children enrolled. they will not have that option if there are further cuts in the future. in thely, while maybe first year we were able to say, you can operate at a shorter school year, we really know that kids need to have more exposure to headstart. those are not things that programs will have the option to do in the future. any future cuts will be compounded by the fact that some of these one-time fixes this year are not available in the future. >> i wanted to try to maybe put this in the larger context, because as everybody knows, these budget concerns are going far beyond headstart. we have the debt ceiling fight coming up, a continuing resolution to fund the government expiring -- martha, i'm wondering if you can talk about what the obama administration is proposing in early childhood, what the administration is wanting to see , and maybe how they are working
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to get congress to take up these issues when it is hard to get funding bills going at this point. >> one thing to be clear -- the cuts in headstart and sequestration in general were very much not the administration's plan. you're very much trying to put ourselves on a path to reverse that. moreover, our plan for early education is very much one of investment. investment in head start, not only making sure that programs can keep up with the cost of inflation and not have to make choices that were described, but also to build out a new early head start childcare partnership so some of the best things about head start can be brought to the broader childcare subsidy system and we can raise the quality of early childhood for those infants and toddlers. we have proposed a large investment in home visiting, which is in place right now, but the money is temporary. we think it is a fantastic program that should be continued. finally a large investment in preschool for four-year-olds. we know that as many other
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speakers said, there is solid evidence to show that these investments are smart ones and our future, that they generate a higher return. the president very much believes we can continue to reduce the deficit in a balanced way while making these investments. that is what our plan is. the senate bill fully funds the administration's request for these early childhood investment. that is the path that we and many in congress would like to get on. it is hard to find a member of congress who will tell you that early education is a bad investment in the struggle is over how to get into a fiscal dynamic where we can actually make those investments. tot is where we are trying get, to reverse this and build on it. >> the interesting thing you talk about is the investment and how it is tied to economic policy and economic growth. i wonder, michael, if you might be able to go with that. this is something that you rip -- you recently wrote a report about. noty role on this panel is
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so much talk about early childhood education, although i do have a three-year-old in a --school -- it is important but the notion that we need to be cutting anything, frankly, right now, it has really missed the boat. three years ago, the deficit projections were original -- were legitimately concerning to a lot of people. democrats,nt, republicans, they all looked at the numbers and said, this is not sustainable. that is not the path we are on their -- on now. spendingone a lot of cuts to discretionary programs like head start and others. , scientificre research, lots of things have been cut. he have raised a little bit of revenue. there are a lot of other trends that are happening in the wider economy that are bringing the deficit way down. the deficit today is falling at the fastest rate in the last 50 years. in notion that we need to be the notionthing --
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that we need to be cutting anything is a notion from three years ago that doesn't hold anymore. more importantly, i would say the spending cuts we have done over the last few years have been really bad for the economy broadly speaking. in specific terms on this panel. , andut headstart teachers those are jobs right away that are gone. think about the ripple effects of that. not only are those jobs are not there, but they are not spending money in their community which creates jobs and their communities, but it is even loses a spotarent for their child, and we heard about it earlier -- they cannot work anymore because they do not have child care. that is economic opportunity lost. it is very hard to go back and get that back. imagine that scaled up to hundreds of billions of dollars that we have cut. you can get a sense of why the economy is running as slowly and
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is growing as slowly as it has been over the last few years. it is kind of mind-boggling that we are even talking about more cuts right now. >> actually, i have a question about the federal role in this that you are alluding to. one of the interesting things i found when i was writing stories about early childhood education is that at the state level, there is not a debate at all about it, among republican lawmakers, democrats. we have seen expansions of early childhood, modest perhaps in some cases, but in red states and blue states. -- sharon, you might you can talk about this -- the federal role, why it is important for the federal government to have a role in this. could this be something that we leave to the states to build on themselves, or what is important to have the federal role there to read the engine, i suppose? >> i will start.
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the federal government has historically had a significant role in early childhood education. it actually dates back to the war on poverty. it established the headstart program and was one of the early investments the federal government made, recognizing that it is a national priority that children in every state have opportunities for solid education and economic opportunity that comes with it. it is certainly the case that the federal government and state governments are partners in education. that is true in the early is true inorld, it k-12 education, and true in other areas. i having a partnership, several things happen. the federal government is able to make sure that opportunities exist, even in states and communities that are more disadvantaged grade -- disadvantaged. the federal role also can help drive policies for higher quality. i think the role that headstart quality,d in advancing
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not just in headstart programs, but in the field of early education writ large, is a really important piece of the history of the development of early education in this country. without the federal presence and those federal standards and dollars, i think it would be a much lower level of development in early education. going forward, there is no question that early education investments will have to be a partnership between the federal and state governments, but i do not think either will be able to do it on its own. left to doing it on its own, we will see much bigger disparities between states and between communities where disadvantaged communities, communities of color, those children would have even less opportunity if we did not have the federal investment that allows them to equalize, to some degree, opportunity around the country. >> absolutely. >> that is all 100% right.
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the other thing is, new york has an interest in making sure that mississippi has a highly trained workforce. mississippi has an interest in making sure that california has the best workers in the world because we are one interconnected economy. -- wevery important talked about a little bit, and we should talk about more, about how beneficial investments in early childhood education and a rippling through the economy for generations. it is a national issue. it is not as if the mississippi economy is separate from alabama or tennessee or any others. as for the federal role has to come into say, look, we are all pieces of the puzzle. -- that is where the federal role has to come into say, look, we are all pieces of the puzzle. >> i wonder what you are hearing from lawmakers when you are going to talk to them about preschool and expanding early childhood programs. >> one of the things you hear,
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there is a lot of interest and bipartisan interest in it. one of the things that state- level policymakers will acknowledge, some have stagnated in their ability to invest. one of the purposes of the administration's plan is to jumpstart that investment. we know especially through the recession, a lot of them were disinterested. - disinvested. the federal government is able to be more dynamic in our investment. we do not have the same strict budgeting standards. we can say, this is a smart investment. this will pay off. here is a substantial infusion of funds for preschool. make sure there is a high- quality education. notion that the federal government would come in as a partner is intriguing. where we get stuck is on this roleson of financing and and what had you, but there is a net knowledge meant that more resources to the state would be beneficial. >> is there a concern -- i've heard this from some lawmakers
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-- that federal money might come with strings attached that they are not necessarily interested in? how do you address that? >> that is always something that we struggle with. on the one hand, no federal taxpayer would want the dollars that we spent to be spent on something that isn't generating that high return. the 147 return, that is for high quality preschool. there is a much lower return -- return, thateven is for high quality preschool. there is a much lower return elsewhere. the idea is to have certain standards, but within those pretty broad parameters, design a program that works for the state and community. that qualityf piece, i know that headstart is going to reprocess right now where it is asking some grantees to be -- to reapply for their grants. i wonder how that process is going. is that affected at all by the sequestered?
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that is a big undertaking that headstart has done to improve the quality of the program. a time right now where there has been an unprecedented change in headstart, really saying, we are only going to be renewing programs that can demonstrate they are providing high-quality services. we are running more competition to see in communities who is the best provider. our first big round of awarding new grants, coming around the same time as the sequestration. for programs thinking they absolutely have to be providing the highest quality services, both because that is what they want to do for their children, but also because they are under new accountability standards that are higher than have ever been before, it is an externally difficult time to find out how you're going to middle -- muddle through a year and absorb and operate at reduced funding levels. larger than ever seen
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reductions. as martha said, it is incredibly important that we have those standards of quality. running these programs, it is an incredibly difficult time to be doing that. you gave us some information about how this has been affecting you in mississippi. i wonder what you are hearing from lawmakers and hearing from policymakers. to theple responding concerns about what is going on in the state? are they listening? our state lawmakers weighing in on that? hearing is what other panelists have shared. high-quality early childhood education is a good idea. all children deserve it. where the rubber meets the road is, how do we figure out how to pay for it?
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, thewe have been asking federal government as well as state governments, to do, while you are making these very difficult decisions about where dollars are going to be spent, do not balance budgets on the backs of poor children and poor families. that incredibly important the federal government set a standard that all citizens of the united states and each state have a basic right to certain sorts of access. florida, theyt cannot move forward, if they do not have a safe place for their children -- cannot florida should, they cannot move forward, -- cannot flourish, forward, ifmove they do not have a safe place for their children. in mississippi, it is interesting -- for the first
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time, the legislation appropriated money for pre-k. we were all cheering that. we anticipate about 2000 enrollment opportunities for children. losewe get the cuts, so we 1800. we are looking at maybe a net gain of 200 opportunities. it is heartbreaking. our office gets calls from families where parents are trying to go back to school or sometimes working two jobs and still not making a very high salary, and we have to say, we understand your situation, we understand your concerns, we just do not have the opportunities. [no audio] if the federal government is an extremely high , that is already at the limits of what it could be doing -- that is not the case.
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the u.s. is a low tax country great we have already cut a lot of spending. -- country. we have already cut a lot of spending. these are choices congress is making. it is not inevitable. to investosing not the money, which is a completely different thing than saying, we do not have the money. that is not the case. if we thought about these things a little bit smarter, and we said, when we invest in headstart and we invest in scientific research and infrastructure or whatever it is, these things are going to pay off in the future -- we are all going to be better off down the line. we do not live at a rational world, but if we did, that is what we would be doing. we would not be talking about, we cannot afford it. we would say, we cannot afford not to. >> this is definitely the reporter tech question to ask, and i can open that up to the whole panel -- what are the chances that we will see some movement on this? it is being talked about.
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the administration, i see it. i see the secretary of education out there, talking about the importance here. you hear it reflected back. there are not very many people who would argue like, early childhood, not that important. what are we looking at in terms of movement. -- in terms of movement? along with that, if congress for whatever reason does not make moves, are there things the administration can do on its own to perhaps promote some of these issues? i'm not sure what kind of leverage or action might be able to be taken there. the president has put forward a comprehensive plan to replace sequestration with a balanced package to reduce spending and make the reductions. that is very achievable. that is the baseline. we should be getting there. i think that is possible.
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i think the growing awareness across the country about how harmful sequestration is to local communities and families and families of all income levels, feeling the pinch in various ways, that is where we can get to. and we build off of that platform? as i mentioned before, there is a pending senate bill that has more than $2 billion in increased investment in early education, within the cap system and by the budget controlled act. -- budget control act. i think if we have the awareness that we have been going in the wrong direction we could be a few months from now celebrating a significant infusion of resources into early education. ask, what can the administration do, i think there are some things we can do.
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at the end of the day, you need to be able to hire teachers, you need to be able to the classroom. you need to be able to support those children. there are dollars associated with that. we cannot kid ourselves that there is anything that truly replaces that. headstart competition is incredibly important. the dollars have to be there. ,> i want to jump in and say all of washington, i don't know about the rest of the country, we are watching with bated breath to see what happens when congress returns. i do think that there is a growing awareness that sequestration they are harming the country and economy. it is not just progressives that -- are saying it. the drag on the economy and sequestration is producing their
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is no question given that michael said, the improved tooet outlook that getting medium to longer-term deficit reductions stabilizing is imminently achievable. at the same time building investments for these type of things that have high payouts and are essential to economic opportunity. today, as we think about what people were marching for 50 years ago, part of it was about opportunity. the case that not there is no pathway from here to there. i will say that i think there are people on both sides of the aisle the recognize the harm the cuts are doing. to -- and pathway beginning down the road of investment and what we see in the senate, labor, corporations
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bill if it does comply with caps set the budget control act and has spending cuts relative to where we were in 2010. even in that constrained environment, with to make a good priority choices and invest in our children. when people say there is no way to get there, i do not think that is right and the more people engage in the conversation, the more that people in the state, and communities are sharing their stories. i think there is a possibility of getting to a better place over the coming months. it will not be easy and it won't happen miraculously, but the more that conversation is engaged, the more likely it is we get to a better outcome. >> i have a slightly more pessimistic view. i think what martha and sharon said are right but i think it's while there iste a growing awareness among some
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parts of policymakers that sequestration is bad on at the same time there's a sense of month others that it was not as bad as we thought it was going to be. hearing on anot daily basis that these cuts are affecting them. and that worries me quite a lot. i am very worried that members of congress will decide, we try to live through 2013 -- yeah, it was bad but not as bad as we thought. tell that to the 57,000 families who -- [no audio] it is a reality in which we will live with it. that really worries me and what we have learned is that congress will take the path of least resistance and just doing the status quo is typically the path of least resistance. we have to make sure that they
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understand sequestration is not status quo. .hat was one time, a disaster and we should not do it again. i do think it is very important over the next four weeks for families who have been impacted by sequester to call their members and make their stories known. only is also important not for people who are making decisions to have data, they really need to have -- parents who can stand before you and you see a real-life, breathing person who is saying i am doing everything i can to try and make it and make the american dream real. and every time a door is open, two other doors are closed. they need to see the pain of sequestration in an actual family. when there is a 17 year old and
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we would not get into why they have a child, that is secondary. the child is there. the 17 year old who was trying to finish high school and we know if you do not have at least a high school diploma am a what a bleak outcome employment is. you have to say, sorry, there is not a head start for you. michael talked about taking his three year old. there are places in mississippi where there is no public transportation. there is not a carbon. -- car. even if it is there, how do you get there? these are real people, real families, real struggles, real poverty that we need to look at. of real about in terms people, the numbers take on a whole new meaning. >> i can understand to get something to get congress out of inertia.
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with the testing questions from the audience -- we can take questions from the audience, i do not know if there are some? just wait for the microphone and introduce yourself. >> i am the project manager for public broadcasting. we have been working with head start for the past few years and have a wonderful partnership. partner, we are wondering what we can do at the local aside to help support you from writing checks and money we do not have it either and raising awareness? what we do to help support you to ease the impact of these cuts while we wait for something to change at the federal level? >> one thing that is important to do which goes along with raising the awareness is actually dragging bodies to headstart programs. there are a lot of people who think they know about headstart
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and they actually do not. when they actually go into a headstart program, they are awestruck at all of the things that is going on, the school readiness, health and wellness. headstart is not just a child development program, it is a family development program. once you have to stabilize families there will be growth. that is one thing am i getting people, commissioners, mayors, local legislators to come in and actually see how the dollars are being spent and what a great investment it is. the only thing is to help us leverage what resources we have left after those cuts. mentor and children who can come out and opportunities for parents to have access to more resources to either improve their employment skills or
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access to implement. just that whole community investing in families and working together to include outcomes for families. >> are there other questions? hi committee for education funding. i question is for martha. when the administration released specific data on headstart and how many kids, it must be very helpful and got a lot of press from a reliable source. do you see similar data, and , knowingr programs that every program does not work the same and data sometimes harder to get? that will be helpful because it generates a lot of the press that helps the grassroots. >> you are right. one of the unique needs about
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headstart is they did something that was extremely helpful to program management and public awareness raising which was to a few months ago update their plans and say exactly what they were doing so can say how many children would be impacted. that is somewhat unique. that being said, we do know a lot about what is going on and state-by-state what the percentage reduction has been. how many title i dollars have been pulled out. and as we have the information that we feel is consistent enough and scrubbed enough that people will take it seriously as they should the we are happy to make it available. the media playing gotcha instead of looking at was there. 70,000 and only 57,000 were cut.
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it was done mechanically. we did not know how many centers which used to reduce the number of hours or days. that was flexibility. there was the flexibility there. the mediae can get -- can understand the story is not in the small delta between an early prediction in an underground reality. sometimes a those other ways and i have not seen it reported that way. the more we get out of that, the more the true story can come true. >> i wanted to jump in for one minute on this issue. on because and other education. i think it's important to think about the compounding effects particularly in poor communities. poor communities have a larger share of their public education dollars coming from the federal government because the federal
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government directs more federal education funding to poorer school districts. and that helps to it lies, it is a positive. with educational funding is cut, it can make a bigger impact in those less managed, more disadvantaged school districts. you have poor families in poor communities losing headstart and then having dollars come out of their public education through 12 system and that is two programs i am talking about. some of those sun communities are used -- losing housing less likelythey are to get help paying rent. how for low income families and communities, there is a compounding effect of stopped i think it is important for every byte to recognize we are talking by headstart and thinking about -- everybody to
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recognize we are talking about headstart and thinking about it. there are cuts and medical research that is a major driver of our economy and improving health over time. the ability for the weather service to keep up its satellite. the list goes on and on. for those lower income communities and families, there is a compounding effect. >> i almost wonder and this is something i was wondering when the sequester first went into place and we suffer is the air traffic controllers and how that hole was patched. whether headstart and other programs would be patched in that way and whether it that will be a good short-term fix or if it would be bad because you know there will be no incentives to address in a broader perspective? there's anow if conversation about doing something like going into
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support headstart and let the rest of the sequester go, i do not know if that is something you have heard it all. >> it is really important for people to understand congress did not approve one dime of additional resources to solve the faa problem. they allowed the department of transportation to shift cuts to a different part. they shifted some immediate effects, cuts that were going to have immediate effects to a longer term on our ever structure. -- infrastructure. if you want to make sure we are resting and the building blocks of our communities and investing in our children that led to breakthroughs that we all take for granted today and improve ,ealth for millions of people it is not about shifting. it is not about pulling money
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from here and put a little bit more here and even the cut over there. it's about recognizing that right now we are underfunded and we are not a poor country that does not have the money to make the investment. we have to have the will to have the right priorities and be willing to support those investments. i think over time whatever funding level at the top line is there, we need to make the right part choices within those levels. at the moment, we are underfunded on the domestic side at large. that is where we have to fix that and then have the right priority discussions. at the second level. >> i 100% agree with what she said. who would really impact it was a question, we talked about low income families and children in the fa they -- faa.
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who we are really affecting, it is the future. we are cutting the future. that is what we are doing. we are cutting investment in early childhood and health care research which affects our future. even the smaller things which we would not think of as investments, a lot of the way if they are deferring maintenance or not making investments in our own infrastructure to make the job they are doing better in the future. it is all shortsighted. it is mind-boggling. >> are there any other questions the smart -- questions? >> i am a local educator. you have spoken a lot about wanting quality preschool and how that is need and why. i am curious to what are the aspects of the quality preschool
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education that you would like to see in every single preschool in the country or headstart program? headstartf all, started making very significant changes far back as the 1980's. size, staff/child ratio, curriculum and being able to track children's progress. all of those things are important but i think what has above histart stand approach to the whole child not just the academic in school readiness side which is very important, but the health and wellness side. we know it children are not well, they cannot learn. if families are not healthy, they cannot help stabilize their
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families and move them forward. there has to be an inclusive program that will affect school readiness and academic repair this -- preparedness. the other things that help families become productive citizens and move their families. that, if those same characteristics are the building blocks we look at it the preschool initiative for four year olds. the same kind of helmets are important. one i would add is to because 2 learning. -- the same kind of elements are important. to make sure we are not blindly investing but smartly for the future. >> i think we are at the end of our time.
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i really appreciate the panel for taking the time to have this great conversation and thank you for joining us. newsmakers, our guest is tom donohue, president and ceo of the u.s. chamber of commerce and you talk about immigration, taxes, and the health care law. security janet napolitano is stepping down to become resident of the university of california system. she delivered her farewell speech at the national press club. will show that at 11:35 a.m.. sever ciscotalk and about a bunch of people creating products. moses stuffer young kids and i showed them if they went by the mostly young kids and i showed them if they would buy
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the data, parents say they want to keep their children safe. data and youhe just act on the data, you are going to be in big trouble. steve jobsand as said i'm a people do not know what they want until they see it. you ask them a billion questions . there were no focus groups or data in the building of that ipad tom a it was all him. >> what will the future bring? the digital revolution. just before 12:00 eastern, we discussed the future of presidential debates. from dartmouth college, a history and look ahead at the next digital revolution. ,rom the international festival a look at race in america.
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today willore 2:00 president obama addressed the nation about the united states response to the syrian government alleged use of chemical weapons earlier this month. from the rose garden, this is about 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. 10 days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women, and children were massacred in syria in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. yesterday, the united states presented a powerful case that the syrian government was responsible for this attack on its own people. our intelligence shows the assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of damascus,
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and acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place. all of this corporate's what the world can plainly see. hospitals overflowing with victims. terrible images of the dead. all told, well over 1000 people were murdered. several hundred of them were children. young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government. this attack is an assault on human community. it also presents a serious danger to our national security. it risks making a mockery of the global role vision on the use of chemical weapons. it endangers our friends and our partners along syria's border including israel, turkey, lebanon, and iraq. it leads to an escalating use of chemical weapons or the proliferation for terrorist groups who would do our people
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harm. a world with many damage, this menace must be confronted. after careful deliberation, i have decided that the united states should take military action against syrian regime targets. this will not be an open-ended intervention. we would not put boots on the ground. our action will be designed to be limited in duration and scope. but i'm confident we can hold the assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out. our military has assets in the region, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive. it will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now.
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i am prepared to give that order. but having made my decision as commander in chief based on what i am convinced is our national security interests, i am also mindful that i'm the president of the world's oldest constitutional democracy. i have longed believe that power is not rooted in our military might but in our example of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. that is why i have made a second decision -- i will seek authorization for the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. for the last several days, we have heard from members of the congress who want their voices to be heard. i absolutely agree. so this morning, i spoke with all congressional leaders, and they agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as congress comes back into session.
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in the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with of the information they need to understand what happened in syria and why it has such profound implications for america's national security. and all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote. i'm confident in the case our government has made without waiting for u.n. inspectors. i am comfortable going forward without the approval of a united nations security council that has so far been completely unverified and unwilling to hold assad accountable. as a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to congress. undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the united kingdom this week when the parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even if the prime minister supported taking action.
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yet, while i believe i have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, i know that the country will be stronger if we take this course and our actions will be even more effective. we should have this debate. the issues are too big for business as usual. this morning, john boehner, harry reid, nancy pelosi, and mitch mcconnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy. a country faces few decisions as grave as using military force. even when a force is limited. i respect the views of those who called for caution, particularly as our country emerges from a time of war that i was elected in part to handle. but if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the cost of doing nothing. here's my question for every member of congress and every
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member of the global community what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? what is the purpose of the international system that we have built if the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98% of the world people, and approved overwhelmingly by the congress of the united states is not enforced? make no mistake -- this has implications beyond chemical warfare. if we won't enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? to governments who would choose to build nuclear arms, to terrorists who would spread biological weapons, to armies who carry out genocide? we cannot raise our children where we will not follow through
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on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us. so just as i will take this case to congress, i will also deliver this message to the world -- while the u.n. investigation has some time to report on its findings, we will insist that a an atrocity committed with chemical weapons will not only be investigated, it must be confronted. i do not expect every nation to agree with the decision we have made. privately, we have heard many expressions of support from our friends, but i would ask those who care about the risk of the international community to stand publicly behind our actions. let me say this to the american people -- i know well that we are weary of war. we have ended one war in iraq, we are ending another in afghanistan, and the american people have good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in syria with our military. in that part of the world, there
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are ancient sectarian differences, and the hopes of arab spring have a lease changes that will take many years to resolve your that's why we are not contemplating on putting our troops in the middle of someone else's war. instead, we will continue to support the syrian people through our pressure on the assad regime, our commitment to the opposition, our care for the displaced, and our pursuit of a political resolution that achieves a government that respects the dignity of its people. but we are the united states of america. we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in damascus. we built an international world order, and enforce the rules that give it meaning. we did so because we believe that the rights of individuals to live in peace and dignity depend on the responsibility of nations. we are not perfect, but this nation more than any other has been willing to meet those responsibilities.
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so to all members of congress, of both parties, i ask you to take this vote for our national security. i am looking forward to the debate. in doing so, i ask you, members of congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or politics of the moment. ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time. it is about who we are as a country. i believe that the peoples are presented as must be invested in what america does abroad. now with the time to show the world that america keeps our commitments. we do what we say. we lead with the belief that right makes might. not the other way around. we all know there are no easy options. i was not elected to avoid hard decisions, and neither were the members of the house and the senate. i've told you what i believe, that our security and our values